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September 2007 Archives

September 2, 2007

Phone-Cam Prints

Picked up my 1st ever 6"x4" prints from the mini-lab the other day, and let me say I am more than pleased with the results. Some are a little "over sharpened" and one is printed too light, but all in all I'm, more than happy with them, and my advice to anyone considering buying a point 'n press camera, don't. So long has your phone is a least 2 mega-pixels and you are never going to get a print made bigger than 5" x7" no worries go for it.

prints

Sometime in the coming weeks I'm hoping to publish VOl 2 of Lo-Fi

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September 4, 2007

Camera Craft

Yesterday, at work we were fortunate to have a professional development session given to us by Les Walkling. Les is a lecturer in the fine art department at R.M.I.T, a former lecturer of mine and several other staff and a friend and mentor. He covered many issues relative to digital capture, exposure, processing, digital noise, and the idea of camera craft and post production.

My notes are scattered, he talks very quickly, and all I can offer at the moment is that, the two best options available to process raw, are, Capture One, and Raw Developer, sadly Raw Developer is a Mac only app, and Capture One, does not YET handle the open source DNG file format. He did however show us how to create a camera profile using a Photoshop action and Gretag Macbeth target. As Raw developer is only $125 US, I will begin experimenting with that probably over the term break, coincidentally it is made by a software engineer who was formerly an employee of Capture One. Les also recommended software like iView Media Pro as it is a 'Cataloger' over Bridge which is an image 'Browser'.

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September 5, 2007

Maps, Mapping & Web 2.0

I've long held an interest in maps in particular from the perspective of identity and location. Discovered this site this morning thanks to flickr

What I like about this site is it's a little more intuitive, than the others I've encountered so far, and the filters seem pretty powerful.

wiki map

Perhaps I'll wax lyrical a little more about the idea of maps identity and location in an other post?

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September 7, 2007

Old Skool Web Design

A free CD rom from RenoBrothers.com.au, given to us at the RACV home show, surprised me no end in it's poor design and usability.

Given that the clientele that were likely to show up to this kind of event, I was pretty dismayed at the lack of real text that could be zoomed and the reliance on pdf's embedded in a flash player.

I spent several minutes digging around the contents of the CD trying to find the place to start. Eventually, I did find it and hey what's a few minutes between friends eh?

Then! Lo and behold, the text didn't render very well on the front page command + did nothing to ANY of the text. Surely I thought to myself things can't be ALL that bad, this site looks very nice, so I continued to navigate around.

Eventually I got a bit lost, , so I thought no worries, I'll just hold down my back button and CHOOSE from a list of pages recently visited and get back to the page I think had the info on it I wanted. Sadly all got is a list of untitled pages?

RenoBrothers.com.au

The front page of the CD ROM

RenBrothers.com.au

This is actually the 3rd screen, with the pdfs embedded in a flash player, the second screen seemed more like a afterthought with a bunch of text links dumped in the middle of the page, not even worthy of consideration.

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Satire & Politics

Chasers War on Everything have done it again, good on 'em I say.

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September 8, 2007

Raw Processor Tool

Capture One 4 Beta, is now available for download.

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September 9, 2007

Built-In Redundancy?

Look at these 2 cameras.

2cameras

Which one has been made redundant by technological advances?

By way of background, the camera on the left is a film camera, a Kodak Brownie Flash II manufactured 1953-1963. The camera on the right a Kodak DC20, a digital camera from the mid 90's. An honest review here.

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September 10, 2007

Work Flow

Before I answer yesterday's question I want to talk about Digital Work flows, Analog Work flows and the loses and gains between the two.

Analogue Photography

Analogue photography has a long history of literature in terms of process. In fact it is very difficult to learn the process of b&w film processing and printing, without consulting the numerous texts out there that describe the process.

As a process it is well established, as I said, and could be described as something like this.

  1. Shoot, light, composition, timing, technical choices
  2. Process:- Film [Chemicals, Dev, Stop, Fix, wash, dry]
  3. Proof/Contact the film, or if you are brave go straight to the next step. Again technical considerations also come into play here, exposure time, contrast/filtration, choice of paper developer and so on
  4. Choose your 'shot' to Print
  5. Make your Print, again, technical considerations come into play here, exposure time, contrast/filtration, choice of paper developer and so on
  6. Refine your print, based on skill and knowledge of materials, using darkroom techniques and or post darkroom techniques such as Toning, Bleaching etc
  7. Present your Print, in a frame or on a wall in some way.

The entire process allowing plenty of time for immersion in the craft and process of photography and thought of craft, aesthetics and history. Of course only the truly dedicated follow this path to it's logical extension. How to make beautifully crafted photographic prints that celebrate life art and the idea of a photograph, or at least question it.

Digital Photography

Step 1 is identical between the two processes, with some minor differences in approach between analogue emulsions and digital CCDs.

However step 2 is where things go awry with digital. There are so many choices in post exposure software out there, right down to the choice of processing in camera. Where is a beginner to turn now? For example simply hooking your camera up to your computer is likely to simply launch some piece of software that you will need to learn first before you even begin looking at your images, either creatively, critically or technically. And of course what is likely to happen in 18 months to 2 years, the software developer will change their software to the extent where learning it all over again is a distinct possibility. Somewhere, in this process people are meant to some how learn how critically evaluate the images they make and gain an insight inot what images have been made why and how.

Factor in the huge shortage of texts that deal with the digital photograph as a craft and you have a hot bed of misinformation, and a breeding ground for old wive's tales.

Somewhere in amongst all this, photography teachers the world over are expected to pass on all the right knowledge to prepare their students for life in the real world. Believe it or not I find this exciting and challenging and a great way forward, as I consider myself one of the lucky few, a foot in both camps.

I guess I'll leave the gains of digital to another article another day, though.

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September 6, 2007

Local Newspaper Article

Recent article about the current exhibition I'm exhibiting in, scanned from a cutout article from my local newspaper. Need to work on my 'media' skills I think?

News? Old really?

The exhibition is, on at Gallery 124, 124 Hampshire Rd, Sunshine.

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September 10, 2007

A Question?

Anyone else using Movable Type, NOT getting, responses e-mailed to them since the new verison came out a week or so ago?

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September 14, 2007

Technological Redundancy

A couple of days ago I posed a question about technology, not only here, but to my students as well. It garnered some interesting results. And as a result I discovered I could purchase an adapter/dongle that will solve part of my problems with the digital 1990's camera. Providing that I can find or set up a computer that will run the software itself to download from the camera.

Of course even so the real answer was that the Digital camera is effectively redundant, as I have been able for many years to use contemporary film in the Box Brownie that is probably an easier option for most people just requiring some skill and practice, to master, can the same be said for computer software and hardware? Because that is effectively what would be required to get the 1990's camera up and running again. Both cameras are of course consumer end cameras and as a consequence, but the differences in attitude in manufacture I feel are huge.

In other news, I was recently sent a VistaQuest keychain camera, adding another Lo-Fi device to my list of experiments that I'm dabbling in.

September 15, 2007

Digital Holga?

This new camera is shaping up to be my digital holga.

IMG 0147_chooks_what_chooks

In bright sun the colours have the weird saturated Holga look, along with the classic vingetting as well as the classic over-compressing of jpeg of consumer digital cams. A win win all round thanks again heaps Jakes_World.

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September 17, 2007

Raw Processing

Spent 2 hours today processing a job shot earlier in the week, decided to use the Beta Version of Capture One 4.

This is one elegant and powerful tool. The beta version on my screen cut off the curves section of the exposure tab, but other wise it all worked really well.

The interface seems to have an adobe Edge though, which is okayyy, but certainly a step away from Apple's GUI guidleines.

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September 18, 2007

More On Raw

Why shoot RAW, and what is the big corporations are doing about it?

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September 20, 2007

Serendipity

Randomness and Aesthetics.

serendipity
|ˈsɛr(ə)nˌdɪpɪti| noun:- the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way : a fortunate stroke of serendipity | a series of small serendipities.
DERIVATIVES serendipitous adjective
serendipitously adverb
ORIGIN 1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

There has long been two loose schools of thought about photographic art. Photographic time or moments, and staged photography. The first often requires small cameras*, that are basically an extension of the users hands and arms allowing the photographer to freeze moments in time whether by chance or planning quickly and easily. The second often uses Larger Cameras, carefully controlled lighting and composition.

Both approaches, to art photography share a common concept, intent. Does this then mean a camera such as my new VistaQuest 1005, is excluded from the genre of art making because of it's lack of technical control? If I carry around my small camera with the intent of capturing some moment in time, and only occasionally get some random and serendipitous image as a result, is this less of an art form than much of today's 'street photography'? What part does randomness and chance play in image making using cameras?

Frederick Sommer, perhaps had a real handle on this idea many years ago, when he found an arrangement of illustrations from catalogues and magazines attached to the wall inside an abandoned miner’s shack in 1947, his point that in photographing anything we are always in some way arranging ourselves in relation to what we are serving as subject matter

*By small cameras I mean 35mm and smaller.

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September 24, 2007

Photography Website

"Minimalist photographic images by Ciro Totku"

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Film Processing Video

How to process black and white film, an introductory video.

Thanks to brendadada

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September 25, 2007

Ipernity & Groups

Popped in to my Ipernity.com account last night, and to my delight discovered that they at last have groups. So naturally I started my own. No surprises on the idea behind it, it's a Lo-Fi camera group.

From the team at Ipernity themselves:-

Note: This is a very first release of Groups. We'll enhance of course this feature during the next weeks. We invite you to visit from time to time our Blog, where you'll find all the news about ipernity.

So I also joined a smattering of others as well.

How I will cope between flickr and ipernity is another issue to consider.

This forming of groups got me thinking, as many will be duplicates of existing flickr groups I'm sure, about the social fabric of online communities, and how they appear to mimic real life in terms of dissent and disagreement, except that when folks feel disaffected in online and web 2.0 communities, they simply move on and set up another community.

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Deja-Vu

groups

Here's a list of groups from ipernity, I think it speaks volumes that flowers, macros, sunsets, and black and white are popular.

In case you can't read the text or see the screen-grab hosted back on ipernity, here's a list:-

  • Mono Images ie b&w
  • Sunrise - Sunset
  • Architecture
  • Grafitti
  • Landscape
  • Flowers

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September 26, 2007

VistaQuest Shortcomings

In my quest to exploit explore and understand how my new keychain camera distorts the world I'm beginning to make some interesting discoveries.

IMG 0469_like_a_bazooka

This little camera needs to be held steady even in bright daylight. It distorts movement in interesting ways too.

The view finder is next to useless, adding more to the idea of chance to each image.

Colour and vignetting add to the charm of the images made as well, giving a distinct holga look to the images, which is good.

Despite the uselessness of the viewfinder I made a good one here, the holga-like vignetting and weird colours add to the image I feel.


IMG 0314_wonka

Movement is weird here, a happy accident indeed.


IMG 0288_flinders_st

This was taken in broad daylight, and 'from the hip' pleasantly surprised by the blur


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September 28, 2007

More on the Web

So yesterday, on flickr I left a comment about Australia's National Telco, Telstra and how I wanted to NOT get on a soapbox about them. One of the respondents asked, "What is Telstra". I responded by googling "We Hate Telstra", I came across this article, from the age, that summed it all up really quite well. Clicking on the author's blog link lead me to this article which incorporates ideas I've long held close to my heart.

What has this to do with photography? Well I'm glad that all three of you asked? Changes are afoot in the nature of the hierarchies of structure of photography, it's histories and acknowledgment of photographers who produce significant work. No longer will curators in dressed black, sporting condescending black rimmed glasses be the arbiters of quality and meaning. At the very least we will see the notion of good photography split into, many many camps and schools of thought, all out of reach and control of galleries both State Sponsored and privately owned, I'm guessing, anyways.

All in all I'm excited, about photography's spread and use that has been accelerated by the internet and the lowering costs of digital cameras.

All this from a casual comment and a quick google search.

Finally an article that extolls the virtues of Web 2.0, in particular flickr in the classroom. Albeit a little old, [written in 2005], some aspects of the article are no longer relevant. certainly worth some thought.

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September 29, 2007

Tips on Photography...

Tips on Photography* you won't find in any book.

  • When outdoors on location, turn around, 180 degrees and take another shot.
  • Shoot one Vertical and one horizontal.
  • ALWAYS use a lens hood.
  • Everything in photography doubles and halves.
  • Old photos look sepia by accident.
  • What you exclude in your shot is as important as what you include.
  • There is little point in shooting after 10.00 am in summer and before 3.00 pm.
  • The light in Australia is 'different' to other parts of the world.
  • Your best images will often be made when you are alone.
  • Photoshop is a powerful tool, be careful with that power.
  • Photoshop DESTROYS pixels.
* hat tip to thomask and gregor_y on flickr for the inspiration, and Kent for letting me steal two of his, the 1st two.

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September 27, 2007

The Power of the Web

Thanks, to monkeyinfez, for his recent input, as always, I'm impressed by the web's ability to bring people with similar ideas and interests together, check his stream on flickr, and his blog.

Now If I can just get my blog-roll happening again?

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About September 2007

This page contains all entries posted to musings from the photographic memepool [the shallow end] in September 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2007 is the previous archive.

October 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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